Naples, controversy over Scampia's refusal for Gomorrah film

'We aren't Baghdad'. Clash Saviano-De Magistris

07 January, 15:11

    A scene from the film Gomorrah A scene from the film Gomorrah

    (ANSAmed) - Naples, January 7 - The president of the municipality of Scampia (Naples) is clashing with television producers while Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris is fighting with writer and journalist Roberto Saviano over the decision of Scampia's local municipality - supported by the local government - to refuse a permit to film a television series on Saviano's bestseller book Gomorrah based in part in this crime-torn district of Naples.

    After the international success registered by the movie, Sky television is producing a tv series on the book. But production companies Fandango and Catteleya have been denied a permit to film the series in Scampia, where renewed fighting between gangs with the local camorra criminal organization is sowing violence. 'I denied the authorizations because we must stop the instrumental exploitation of Naples and in particular this neighbourhood', said the municipality's president Angelo Pisani. 'Always emphasizing the negative things, which naturally exist, solves nothing and confirms a negative image which Scampia has to endure. This in spite of positive things which are never discussed. We have been bombarded by media outlets from all over the world. I think it is time to end this and stop the media's exploitation of commonplaces: Scampia is not Baghdad'.

    De Magistris also wrote on his facebook page: 'We are tired of seeing the image of Scampia, not only nationally, reduced as a territory to be conquered by the fighting camorra as if nothing else existed in Scampia apart from drug trafficking and clan in-fighting'. The mayor also suggested that TV rights could finance projects to promote the territory launched by associations and schools.

    Saviano also intervened, indirectly criticizing De Magistris. 'The revolutionary in power is the most fervent of reactionaries', said Saviano on the website of Rome daily La Repubblica. 'When policy making is inadequate it prefers to stop the stories. When nothing changes, due to management faults, it is better for writers and filmmakers to remain silent and still.

    And if instead they work and move, it is better to present their work as an artfully reconstructed truth speculating on evil and suffering while power is awaiting to justify its inadequacy'.

    Meanwhile the series is not being filmed. Cattleya producer Riccardo Tozzi told ANSA: 'We are surprised by the no of the municipality's president, there is not such a precise identification of Scampia which represents 5% of the series at the very most. There is a great variety of environments and situations and the most important thing is that the series is far from giving a positive image of the camorra but we rather give great relevance to positive people in the territory who are the other characters in Saviano's world, those who are fighting to change things. We are waiting to meet the mayor and hope is not too busy in the electoral campaign and that filming in Scampia will resume after further clarifications'. (ANSAmed)

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